December 2014 Protests – Where’s the Accountability?
Chief Meehan & the December 2014 Berkeley Protests
Still No Explanation from The Chief After Nearly 6 Months
Early in December of 2014, protests erupted throughout the Bay Area related to news that Mike Brown’s killer as well as the cops who killed Eric Garner would face no criminal charges. In February of 2015, the Berkeley City Council voted for an Independent Investigation of the police response to the protests. Unfortunately, despite General Orders that require the police department to issue an “After Action Report” to evaluate the police response, the police leadership decided that they would not create this report. Instead, they claimed, they would present their own, more comprehensive investigative report. Well Chief Meehan, it is six months after the protests and we are all still waiting for you to explain what happened and why.
And this is not just about policy! Every time the BPD gets caught abusing the people and their first amendment rights, they make a big deal about rewriting some policies. Of course, you can always adopt a better policy and some policies are better than others. However, what Berkeley is suffering from is:
– LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY AND CONSEQUENCE: Officers rarely get punished for abusing people’s rights. It happened many times that night and it’s on video. The city leaders must take action against bullies in cop uniforms and let it be known that we have zero tolerance for misconduct. Identify officers and their violations. Hold them accountable.
– POOR LEADERSHIP: Our police leadership doesn’t seem to understand what it means to work with a community in order to increase community safety. This level of secrecy, surveillance and distrust of the community isolates the police and makes them unable to really solve crime and protect neighborhoods.
Let’s ask the Chief about a few things:
Ask about individual acts of officer misconduct:
What actions can be taken against officers who strike people with batons as they are backing away?
Why did BPD officer Salas strike Joseph Cuff and knock him to the ground?
If officers are not identified with a badge or nameplate, is it the officer or their commander who should be disciplined?
Ask about the Chain of Command and Leadership Issues
Who ordered Berkeley officers to charge southward on the crowd at Telegraph Ave. while another line of police was forcing them to go north?
Who decided to gas protesters as they were walking quickly away from police from Durant Avenue well past Alcatraz (thereby contaminating whole residential blocks with gas)
How will the chief hold officers from other departments accountable for pointing munitions at protesters at close range and at chest height? What about for indiscriminate use of force and lack of badges?
Regarding December 7th – What caused the failure to secure the scene for a man who was suffering from a heart attack and died after a 23 minute delay in response?
Why has BPD leadership prevented public access to planning and evaluations of the police response to these events? Why so little compliance with the California Public Records Act?
Chief Meehan is delaying his report YET AGAIN! Is he trying to run out the clock on the PRC investigation which is due by August?
Demand an explanation!
Berkeley Police Review Commission
Wednesday May 27th AND June 10th 7pm
South Berkeley Senior Center